Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 42

ABA DELEGATE'S CORNER

Adapting & Connecting
By Robert N. Weiner

C

onventional wisdom holds
that Generation Z and
millennials are not joiners
and are skeptical of professional associations. Some
observers speculate that COVID-19
will accelerate defections from
membership organizations (and
empirical evidence may or may not
bear this out), but I believe that
professional associations have
become more valuable during this
pandemic. That is particularly true
of the American Bar Association.
The pandemic has imposed a degree of professional isolation that I have not encountered in
my 40 years of legal practice. When was the last
time you sat across from a colleague or adversary in a conference room, or were physically
present in a courtroom, or went to a social
event to meet lawyers in your area of practice?
Most of us have to look back to February 2020
or earlier. With apologies to John Donne, it
often feels like each of us is an island, with viral
battlements that keep others out and pen us in.
And yet, in some ways, I see more of my colleagues than before the pandemic. Granted,
Zoom, Webex, and the like are not the same as
real, in-person contact. Some nuance is lost,
body language is difficult to read from a talking
head, and empathy, perhaps, is a little harder to
develop. But in my anecdotal experience, the
contacts at least are more frequent. Zoom
meetings have replaced many phone calls so
we can talk face to face. Daily or bi-weekly
check-ins have become more important, and

42 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

MARCH/APRIL 2021

hence more prevalent, because we are operating remotely. It seems that lawyers are more
motivated to make and maintain connections
with their coworkers and friends.
The ABA provides opportunities for those connections with colleagues across the country. It
helps keep members informed of legal developments and, in general, assists attorneys
navigate the brave new world of virtual
practice. In particular, the ABA's Practice
Forward project equips lawyers to deal with
changes in the profession. The initiative
answers questions pertaining to, for example,
Zoom etiquette, preserving privilege in a
virtual setting, and maintaining your level of
client service. The Practice Forward web page
includes short articles such as " Managing Your
Life and Work During Coronavirus, " " 3 Strategies
to Reframe Your Negative Mindset, " " Staying
Connected While Far Apart: Remote Team
Building During COVID, " and " Five Tips for
Communicating Effectively While Working
Remotely. " A podcast offers a guide to working
remotely during the pandemic and beyond.
The ABA's efforts also focus outward to address
clients' needs, particularly low-income clients
hit hard by the pandemic. Its COVID-19 Task
Force has identified and propagated best practices for serving the poor. For example, in
August the task force heard from the D.C. Bar
Pro Bono Center about its new Family Law
Assistance Network. While the network was
conceived before the pandemic, it became
operational after the coronavirus spread. For
now, the network is an entirely virtual collaboration among the Legal Aid Society of the
District of Columbia, the DC Affordable Law
Firm, and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, offering
legal help to unrepresented litigants in family
court. The ABA task force gets the word out to
bar associations and legal services providers in
other jurisdictions regarding this successful
initiative and others like it at a time of greatly
increased need for legal services.

The world is changing rapidly. Isolation impairs
our ability to deal with those and other
changes. The ABA can help relieve the isolation
and ease our adaptation to the new professional reality.
Robert N. Weiner is a partner at Arnold & Porter
and D.C. State Delegate to the American Bar
Association. He is also an adjunct professor at
Georgetown University Law Center. Reach him at
robert.weiner@arnoldporter.com.

TUNE IN
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Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Digital Extras
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Staying Put in Big Law feature
A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Worth Reading
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
ABA Delegates Corner
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effecy
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 5
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Staying Put in Big Law feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 20
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 24
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 28
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 32
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 34
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 35
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - ABA Delegates Corner
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 45
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Pro Bono Effecy
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover4
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